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Danny and Jackie - Oct 09 - Day 1- Saratoga Springs

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Danny and Jackie - Oct 09 - Day 1- Saratoga Springs
« on: November 01, 2009, 11:32:28 AM »
We arrived at Manchester in good time and checked in among the shortest queue I have ever seen for a transatlantic flight, in fact there was no body there. Its our first time with Thomas Cook Airlines and to be honest there is some apprehension as they seem to have a reputation for poor service (pretty much like any other airline then). So far so good though; we risked not paying extra for sitting together  but are placed together anyway (though oddly people who payed to sit together are not)  and they didn't try to charge extra for the seat belt :) using the bathroom or any other ludicrous optional extra. Hand luggage was not weighed which is probably a relief as it contains more snacks, sandwiches, pies and pastries than a small corner shop. You could pay extra for two bowls of gruel but to be honest I have yet to find any airline food in the world that is worth paying for no matter what class you fly; in fact my award for best airline food still goes to Air China's local domestic flights where they hurled delicious fried chicken noodles at you (well they said it was chicken).

The flight soon takes on an hours delay before we eventually board. I remember the days when 767s were pretty new planes, but this one looks pretty worn out now. I personally don't think in this seating configuration (100% charter which must have come as a shock to those who paid extra for premium seating) it's at all suitable for a 9 hour flight but fortunately we have a centre row to ourselves because when we eventually leave and the seat belt light goes off the entire cabin spends 20 minutes re seating itself so every ones sat with family again.I didn't bother with films as you have to pay extra for the headphones which  plug into the broken sockets on the chairs, anyway Jackie finds the ipod's headphones  work fine once you find an arm that's working; now all you have to do is work out which ceiling monitor you want to watch it on, the one that's tinted red or blue or green, perhaps they could take all the parts from the monitors to get one that works. I hope the equipment in the captains front office is working a bit better.

Nine hours later we arrive at Sanford (which is another first as we normally always fly to MCO). Its a little basic but who cares, we're through quickly and getting our car, something Alamo don't seem to actually be capable of. Remind me not to use them if we ever come to Sanford again; if they're this short of cars at this time of year how on earth do they manage during high season. Eventually a car arrives and we are on are way down the Greenway with Mapmans excellent map to Saratoga Springs and into the welcoming arms of Disney.

We are checked in quickly and given a 1 bedroom villa in The Paddock building. It's absolutely lovely consisting of a hallway which leads into a full size kitchen (which will never be used) and sitting room. From here you can exit to the balcony or enter the bedroom which manages to contain a super king size bed yet still have plenty of space leftover. Another door leads off to the Spa Jacuzzi  bathroom which also allows access to a walk in wardrobe containing a wall safe. Another door from the bathroom takes you through to the second bathroom and its walk in shower. This bathroom also connects back to the sitting room. Between the hallway and the sitting room is a door containing your own washing machine and dryer. A nice touch is that the main Spa bathroom can also be opened up to the main bedroom via some shutters.

We quickly change then run over to the bus stop(30 yards away) and get on the first bus out to EPCOT. It's just starting to go dark now and the plan is to head straight over to the Food and Wine festival and have a few snacks and drinks for supper. We can't resist a quick Mission Space (Intense thanks)though on the way as there is no queue whatsoever so after pulling some Gs we make our way clockwise around the World Showcase. I think it probably felt like 3am for us so I can't fully remember what we ate though I remember a Chicken and Cumin dish washed down with a Tsing Tao from Shanghai, some lovely Barramundi and Lamb Chops from Australia's Counter, I also remember a lovely Scallop dish  and a gorgeous Ghoulash from Vienna. We then ended the night watching Illuminations and I think actually enjoying it more than ever before. Then it was back home to what felt like the most comfortable bed ever..
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